The fun and the fury of Pedestrian Sunday
Car-free Sundays in Kensington Market are shaping up to be one of the most divisive recurring events in the city. For a couple years now we've heard rumblings about how some local businesses in the market feel shutting the streets to cars is bad for business. But with the unveiling of new gates last week that are designed to keep cars out of the market it seems that tensions have escalated.
These seven new semi-permanent street planters equipped with swinging gates come at a reported price tag of $179,000, paid for by the City as well as the Kensington BIA (which collects dues from local businesses). Seems like a steep price for a barrier and some businesses aren't happy about it. Ossie Pavao, owner of Casa Acoreana, told the National Post the gates are a "monstrosity".
Pavao is so upset with local Councillor Adam Vaughan that he goes as far as threatening a physical altercation. "He's not welcome here, he told the Post. " If he steps on this property, I have every legal right to grab him by the scruff of the neck and throw him off the property."
Needless to say the latest installment of Pedestrian Sunday went off (reportedly) without incident. Shoppers still bought bags of chocolate chips and oat flour, there was much conversation and revelry to be had; and but for some disgruntled business owners mixed amongst the crowd it seemed all was alright with the world.
What do you think? Did you visit Kensington on Sunday? What do you think of the new gates?
Photos by Tom Ryaboi